A motor vehicle that first came into circulation thirty years ago or more, i.e. was registered, may be driven with a red license plate exclusively for the purpose of participating in such events that serve the presentation of vintage vehicles and the preservation of motor-vehicle cultural assets, in accordance with the provisions of § 43 of the Vehicle Registration Ordinance (FZV).
It is also possible to carry out test drives and transfer journeys. The license plates are also assigned for use on different vehicles. As with dealer license plates, a maximum of two plates per identification number are issued.
A special vehicle registration certificate is filled out for the vehicles by the registration authority if the requirements are met. When carrying out such journeys, the vehicle must comply with the provisions of the German Road Traffic Licensing Regulations (StVZO), but does not need to be registered and therefore does not require an operating license. The vehicle is also not subject to regular vehicle monitoring. Before the vehicle license is issued, an expert opinion in accordance with § 23 StVZO on the classic car status must be submitted, among other things. Red license plates for classic cars are issued on a personal basis.
A distinction must be made between the registration of a single vehicle with a historic license plate (H - license plate). Such a vehicle must also have been put on the road for the first time at least 30 years ago, but in addition to the certificate in accordance with § 23 of the German Road Traffic Licensing Regulations (StVZO), it also requires an operating permit.
A vehicle licensed in this way also serves to maintain the motor vehicle cultural heritage, but has no restrictions with regard to the purpose for which it can be driven. The vehicle is also subject to regular vehicle inspection.
If a vehicle has received an H license plate for the first time, applications can also be submitted digitally for all further registration processes.
You can access the Internet-based processes on the portal of your registration authority. You can also obtain further information there.
Information on the online procedures of the registration authorities can be found under "Further links".